Pin Me

Quick and Easy WiFi Setup for Windows 7

written by: •edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 2/16/2011

Setting up a wireless router with Windows 7 can prove difficult, particularly if you are using a device with older encryption methods or an inability to understand IPv6.

  • slide 1 of 5

    Why Won't Windows 7 Connect to My Wireless Router?

    Quick and Easy Wifi Setup – Win7 Guide Setting up a wireless network connection in Windows 7 should be a quick and easy process, and for many people it is. However for those of you with older routers or devices based on older hardware then you might find that Windows 7 and your router have no interest in communicating at all.

    Various hardware and security specifications are required of a wireless router for Windows 7 to be able to connect to it, and if your router doesn’t meet these then connecting with Windows 7 will not be possible until you purchase a new router.

  • slide 2 of 5

    Hardware and Network Requirements

    Strictly speaking, all you should need to get your computer online with a wireless router is some sort of wireless card or USB dongle and a wireless router; at least, that’s all you needed under Windows XP.

    However several older routers are unable to handle the IPv6 system (the new method of dealing with IP addresses that is set to be introduced in late 2011) and this can result in problems with them accepting connections from your computer.

    Therefore what you need is a fully functioning wireless network card (you should be able to tell its working as it will detect other networks) and a wireless router that supports modern connection methods and is forward compatible with any planned changes that might occur such as IPv6.

  • slide 3 of 5

    Quick WiFi Setup for Windows 7

    A wireless internet connection should be available with the minimum of fuss in Windows 7 – basically all you should need to do is switch on your wireless router and wait for your PC to detect the connection.

    Once this has been done you should see a notice on your Windows desktop informing you that a new wireless network has been found. All you need to do is click into this box to expand it and select the network that you want, clicking Connect to begin entering the network passkey.

    And that should be it! Your router and Windows will then form a relationship, with an IP address assigned to your computer and the Windows 7 Wi-Fi setup will be complete.

  • slide 4 of 5

    Alternatives to Wireless Networking

    If your router is simply too old to be used with Windows 7, you have several options. For instance, you might contact your ISP and see if they are able to supply you with a newer model at a discount, or perhaps for free. You should also contact the router manufacturer or do a search on the web for an updated version of the router's firmware, which might provide you with the enhancement you need to connect to it.

    Alternatively you might opt to use the wired Ethernet connection between you PC or laptop and your router. While not as flexible this will guarantee a stronger network connection, and laptop users might consider using a docking station as opposed to plugging the cable straight in.

    There is always the mobile internet solution too – some ISP's and mobile networks offer USB and PCMCIA/Expresscards that enable you to connect to their 3G mobile internet, although this will be available at an additional charge.

    However if you have a cell phone with mobile internet, this can be tethered to your PC or laptop with a USB cable (or in some cases via Wi-Fi) – whether you use a BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android or iPhone, this should be possible.

  • slide 5 of 5

    References

    Source: Author experience

    Image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/Wireless-Router.png